For the Marquardts, basketball has long been something of a family affair.
Molloy College head coach Charles Marquardt and his son, former Poly Prep standout Charlie Marquardt, have been the driving force behind the Lions success over the last four seasons: a father-son duo that has helped jumpstart the program. And although Molloy came up short of its ultimate goal this year — falling in overtime to Saint Thomas Aquinas in the East Coast Conference final March 5 – the Marquardt duo insists they’ve had the time of their basketball lives.
“It’s meant everything to me,” said Charlie, who wrapped up his career with a record-breaking 51-point performance. “I mean, that’s my father and it’s really a once-in-a- lifetime experience. I just look to him every day and try to be half the man he is. It’s been great.”
Charlie didn’t always plan to play his college ball for his father — he had drawn interest from a handful of Division I schools and had several other offers from Division II schools — but he grew up in the Molloy gym and when the time came to make the decision about the next step in his career, for him there was really only one choice.
“I was close to the guys on the team before I came here and then after my official visit, I knew this was the right place for me to grow athletically and academically,” Charlie said. “How could I not go to a place that was such a good school that I had been around my whole life?”
Not much changed for the Marquardt family that first season. If anything, Charles was even harder on his son than he was on any of his other players, determined to make sure Charlie earned every minute he saw on the court.
“It’s definitely been a different dynamic,” Charles said. “My focus has been on treating him just like everyone else, and that’s really something that I have to ensure.”
Charlie came into his own as a junior, setting a program record with 88 three-pointers, breaking the 1,000-point scoring mark and leading the team in scoring. This winter, he improved on that; breaking his own record by making 90 shots from behind the arc and averaging 21.9 points a game.
“Charlie, very early on, was able to separate his skills from others,” his father said. “I think it would have been harder if Charlie was not able to contribute or if it was, maybe, a situation where his contributions weren’t obvious. But that never really came to light, and with each year, his role became bigger.”
The Marquardt family has always been about basketball. It’s been a memorable four years, filled with on-court highlights — as well as a few disappointments — but neither Charles nor Charlie would change anything. They’ve grown, both in the game and as father and son and, now, they’re anxious to see what the future has in store for them.
“I’m graduating and I’m looking to continue to play basketball,” Charlie said. “If everything falls into place and it’s meant to be, then hopefully I’ll be able continue.”